recipe for baked donuts at 101 Cookbooks, and I have been wanting to make them all week. They're so delicious--a tender, sweet milk and yeast dough, with a crunchy crust of cinnamon sugar on top--and you can munch on these guilt-free. They're so much tastier and better for you than any fried donut could ever be!
I didn't change the recipe at all except for a few modifications to the method. What I love about this recipe is that it works perfectly to shape the donuts the night before and then pop them into the oven (after a brief rest at room temperature) for fresh-baked breakfast donuts in the morning! I mean, who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to get the yeast started?
So here is the recipe...hopefully you'll have a chance to bake up a tray of these wonderful donuts for yourself soon!
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Makes ~ 10 donuts and 10 donut holes
The donuts will be a pale golden color when done; to ensure a moist and tender interior, don't be tempted to overbake these! The cinnamon sugar topping gives them a beautiful finish and a nice crunch.
2/3 cup warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/8 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and let sit for five minutes. If yeast does not bubble up, discard and start again with fresh yeast. Meanwhile, stir the butter into the remaining warm milk to melt it. Add the remaining milk, butter, sugar, egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt to the yeast and mix together with the paddle attachment, then switch to the dough hook and continue mixing until dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour if dough is sticky or more milk if too dry.
Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead a few times (dough should be barely sticky), shape into a ball and place in an oiled boil, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Punch dough down and roll it out onto a lightly-floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out 4-inch circles and transfer them to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Then cut out 2 1/4-inch circles from the centers. Loosely cover the donuts with plastic wrap.
At this point, you may either let the donuts rise for 45 minutes and proceed to bake them, or refrigerate them overnight. After refrigeration, let donuts rise 1 hour in a warm place. Bake at 375 F just until donuts take on a golden tinge, about 8-10 minutes.
While donuts are baking, pour the 1/2 cup milk into one bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another. It helps if the bowls are 6-inches in diameter (just wider than the donuts) and flat-bottomed.